But, despite the hype that was associated with this aircraft (Liberator crews sometimes groused about there being 11 crew members on every B-17, including a publicity officer), there were very solid reasons why the B-17 Flying Fortress holds a revered place in history and in the hearts of those who flew her. It was, first and foremost, a supremely functional and extremely rugged aircraft. No other aircraft to served during WWII has come away with as many documented cases of surviving extreme battle damage and making it home.
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Without a doubt, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is the most-recognized and well-known aircraft to emerge from World War II. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which was an aggressive publicity campaign by the War Department, which resulted in the superb wartime classic propaganda film "Memphis Belle" (not to be confused with the modern film of the same name), and a year-long tour of the United States by the actual "Memphis Belle" and her crew.